Spring 2013 was cooler and wetter than usual, and many newly planted trees and shrubs are showing lots of new growth shoots as a result. These plants look lush, green and healthy now, but be aware that that may change as the summer progresses. As the soil dries and temperatures climb to the 80s and 90s, beautiful new plantings may show signs of stress. Does this spell doom for your news trees and shrubs?
Newly transplanted shrubs and trees normally show some signs of distress shortly after planting. Root systems have been compromised and shrubs must acclimate to their new surroundings. Distress is further aggravated if drastic weather conditions are present. According to Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, a cool, wet spring, providing lots of water, will encourage new growth on branches and shoots, but the root system will not be able to keep up with it. Eventually, as summer temperatures rise and rain subsides, the roots cannot continue to supply water to the new growth, and it will begin to turn yellow or brown. As time goes on, normal growth patterns will resume when the root system is reestablished. New leaves will grow, and should be in good health.
This condition, sometimes known as “transplant shock”, can occur with trees and shrubs of any age, but is more common with new plants. Some species of trees, such as lindens and river birch, are more sensitive to it. The Morton Arboretum advises that on narrow-leaved evergreens, such as arborvitae, fir, and others, scorch injury begins from the needle tip progressing inward. When severe, half to all the needles turn brown. It’s important to note that scorch damage alone will not kill an otherwise healthy plant. Proper treatment will help correct the condition, including infrequent, slow, deep watering.
O’Donovan Landscaping has over 45 years’ experience in the Naperville area, and we know the challenges of our drastic weather changes. Call us at 630-355-3370 to learn more about designing and installing new landscaping materials for your outdoor area. Make your home a green, welcoming retreat for years to come.